Washigton Capitals clinch play-off spot


The Capitals' TJ Oshie (right) celebrates with Marcus Johansson. (AP photo)

TAMPA - TJ Oshie had three goals and an assist while Justin Williams and John Carlson had early third-period goals as the Washington Capitals clinched a play-off spot by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on Saturday night.

Oshie scored twice, including an early powerplay goal, as the Capitals took a 2-0 lead midway through the first. He completed the hat-trick with an empty-netter during the final minute. Oshie has 10 goals and 19 points in 14 games against Tampa Bay.

Williams had a redirection goal 3:14 into the period before Carlson swatted a thigh-high puck home to make it 4-2 at 5:30.

Washington also got four assists from Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby stopped 26 shots.

Nikita Kucherov had two goals and Alex Killorn had the other goal for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 30 saves.


In Minnesota, Oscar Lindberg had a goal and an assist while Antti Raanta made 25 saves as the New York Rangers held on to beat the Minnesota Wild.

Brady Skjei and Jimmy Vesey also scored for the Rangers, who have a league-high 26 victories away from home this season.

Eric Staal and Matt Dumba scored for the Wild while Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves.


In New York, Cam Atkinson scored 1 minute, 19 seconds into overtime to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets over the New York Islanders.

Oliver Bjorkstrand and Josh Anderson scored in the second period for Columbus, which improved to 46-18-6.

Travis Hamonic and John Tavares scored for New York, which dropped to 33-26-12.


In Toronto, Ryan Hartman scored with 17 seconds left in overtime to lead the Chicago Blackhawks past the Toronto Maple Leafs.

John Hayden notched his first NHL goal and Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 26 shots for Chicago, which holds the top spot in the Western Conference with 97 points following their fourth straight win.

Auston Matthews had a goal to snap a seven-game drought while Frederik Andersen made 37 saves for the Maple Leafs, who hold the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 79 points.

Back to top